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High quality small 2 ch A/D unit for remotes for less than cost of new preamp w/dig o
Old 2nd December 2018
  #1
Gear Addict
 

High quality small 2 ch A/D unit for remotes for less than cost of new preamp w/dig o

When I do certain small remotes I use a ULN2 as interface into a MBP. I bring a 2882 when I need its 8 channels and send ADAT out. The ULN2 preamps are very good as the prime pair. Thing is, I find myself doing recordings where it's only four channels, and the additional lugging and connections required when the 2882 is added is a PITA if so few channels are being used. Main issue being it introduces a rack size unit into the rig, so the UNL2 (which is smaller than rack size but has mounting wings) goes in the same rack and the rest of the gear can go in a single case. I have other 2 channel pres, including an excellent DAV, on the keen recommendations here, the dual channel, which I specifically got for its ability to travel in a shoulder bag. With the gear I have now though, if I bring the DAV I still need to bring the 2882 to get signal into the ULN2 digitally. If I had a small (not 18"), good quality 2 channel A/D with either sdpf, AES or ADAT I could do four channels of great pres, leave the 2882 home, and have a simpler transport and setup. I'm not seeing anything that fits this bill for under $400. Is there anything off the radar of the standard catalogs? The reason I say $400 is simply because higher than that gets me into the territory of a Babyface Pro, used Audient Mico, or soon even USBPre2, which all have good enough A/D and good enough pres as well for a #2 pair. Since it would be the only time it would be used it doesn't make budget sense for me to spend $1,100 for an RME ADI-2 or similar.

Is there such a unit? Not looking for an unreasonably amazing box, just a way to solve my dilemma for less than buying a new dual pre with dig. outs.

Thanks : )
Old 2nd December 2018
  #2
Save up for the Mytek Brooklyn ADC. $1995.
Old 2nd December 2018
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Save up for the Mytek Brooklyn ADC. $1995.
Not a fit for this. I'm aware I can spend $2,000 on an A/D (and $2,850 if I sell the ULN2) but that wouldn't make any sense in the context of simply enabling me to get the second tier pair of mics into the digital input. It wouldn't be adding anything to the ULN2, the main pair, so it's a bit of overkill for the nature of the rig. I would spend it if it enabled me to cut down on the boxes I've been bringing for recordings of only four channels, so I'm inclined to spend $1,700 on a SDMixPre10T or M and leave everything, including the laptop, home for these kinds of gigs. I wouldn't spend it if all it did was plug the 2nd pair of mics into the UNL2.

Thanks, anyway.
Old 2nd December 2018
  #4
Just buy the USBPre2 already!

I don't know what to tell you at $400, but I will say that I use my USBPre2 in exactly the way you've described. Sometimes I'm out with my 8-channel Prism interface and realize that I need two more channels for some reason. No problem: Run the USBPre2 in "stand-alone" mode, locked to the main interface's S/PDIF output. The USB2Pre2 channels are then returned over S/PDIF with proper clock sync. It took me some experimentation with the DIP switches to get it to work the first time, so I made myself a "crib sheet" listing the required settings.

Believe me, you'll find other uses for the USBPre2! I just got back from doing a stereo-only personal project using only what would fit in my carry-on bag: A Microsoft Surface Go tablet PC, a USBPre2, a pair of Sennheiser MKH8040's, a small stereo bar, and a pair of Sony headphones. (I borrowed a mic stand on-site.)

My SD 744T records four channels, but only has two mic preamps. (I think they intended the other two channels for belt packs.) The USBPre2 works nicely as an auxiliary preamp without taking up any extra table space.

I've also employed the USBPre2 to get a decent quality feed when a violinist informed me at the last moment that she needed to play backing tracks from her Macbook. (Do they ever bring the right cables to get audio out of their headphone jack? Nope! Can you explain to them why doing so is going to create a huge ground loop? Nope!)

My favorite trick for setting stereo pairs at the correct height: Power a USBPre2 from one of those phone charging sticks and use it as a preamp plus headphone amp so that you can listen while raising and lowering the mic stand height. (This is how to do it when you don't have an assistant with a Clear-Com rig.)

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording

Last edited by David Rick; 2nd December 2018 at 10:19 PM.. Reason: Added 744T stuff
Old 5th December 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Mini Me

It is still phenomenal.
Old 5th December 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

I suspect the 'What to do when you need 4 mic preamps?' problem is a familiar one to most Metric Halo users who can't afford a ULN-8 or a LIO-4.

This is because while the pres on the ULN-2 are excellent for all types of remote work, the 2882 pres are lacking in most respects.

A 'ULN-2 equivalent' small-form factor pre with digital I/O for $400 is a big ask, although with second-hand prices coming down all the time you could pick up a legacy ULN-2 for not much more than that these days and go with a 2 x ULN-2 set-up, which is not as daft as it sounds and I've read of some folks who have gone that route.

Personally, although I do actually have 2 ULN-2s, I decided there was no neater way around the problem than simply hauling the 2882 to 4-channel gigs, so I purchased a DAV BG2 4-channel pre and the smallest, lightest 2U 19" rack case I could find and now I just carry that on occasion when a single ULN-2 isn't enough.
Old 5th December 2018
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the replies : ) James, you're quite right about the 2882. Oddly enough, when I did a fairly controlled testing going through all my mics and preamps the 2882 held up very well in terms of detail and quality of source sound. But it's noise floor is a dealkiller. Some people on the MH list say they use the pres on it for live recordings but I honestly can't imagine how. It's simply the highest noise floor of any pre I have, and I have some real cheapos in the closet that seem dead silent compared to it (not that they sound that good : )

The four (or eight) channels of DAV in a single rack paired with the 2882 would be an excellent way to go, except that I purchased the two channel portable DAV along with a two channel Daking (which I LOVE) not long ago, and both get much use, and I'd hate to part with either just yet to fund it. If it means a budget of over $700 I have indeed been thinking about simply getting another ULN2, which can be had for around $850 or so at will on Reverb. One thing that has going for it that its smaller than full sized profile means that two together can fit in a case which also holds any non-rack gear I bring, which, since it's NYC/Brooklyn it rarely means using my car (can't park it where I'd be going and then I'd lose the spot I left!). Often car service or subway to a gig.

One thing I can definitely say about the ULN2 is that it it still consistently gives results that do not have me yearning for higher quality pres or conversion. Since I have been mulling over the 3d upgrade for either or both of the MH units I have been assuming there would be at least a $500 hole in my pocket at some point, so holding off on that and putting it towards a second ULN2 doesn't feel too wrong, especially given that any other solution looks to cost about as much.

Cheers : )

David
Old 6th December 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rboy View Post
Thanks for the replies : ) James, you're quite right about the 2882. Oddly enough, when I did a fairly controlled testing going through all my mics and preamps the 2882 held up very well in terms of detail and quality of source sound. But it's noise floor is a dealkiller. Some people on the MH list say they use the pres on it for live recordings but I honestly can't imagine how. It's simply the highest noise floor of any pre I have, and I have some real cheapos in the closet that seem dead silent compared to it (not that they sound that good : )

The four (or eight) channels of DAV in a single rack paired with the 2882 would be an excellent way to go, except that I purchased the two channel portable DAV along with a two channel Daking (which I LOVE) not long ago, and both get much use, and I'd hate to part with either just yet to fund it. If it means a budget of over $700 I have indeed been thinking about simply getting another ULN2, which can be had for around $850 or so at will on Reverb. One thing that has going for it that its smaller than full sized profile means that two together can fit in a case which also holds any non-rack gear I bring, which, since it's NYC/Brooklyn it rarely means using my car (can't park it where I'd be going and then I'd lose the spot I left!). Often car service or subway to a gig.

One thing I can definitely say about the ULN2 is that it it still consistently gives results that do not have me yearning for higher quality pres or conversion. Since I have been mulling over the 3d upgrade for either or both of the MH units I have been assuming there would be at least a $500 hole in my pocket at some point, so holding off on that and putting it towards a second ULN2 doesn't feel too wrong, especially given that any other solution looks to cost about as much.

Cheers : )

David
What about selling the 2 channel dav and the 2 channel daking, and getting either a 4 channel dav or even better a 4 channel daking (since you seem to love them) ?

or sell the 2882 (and maybe the dav) and fund a uln8 with 3d card, since they're discounted now ?

Also maybe you have stuff laying around that you don't use.. sell that and fund what you REALLY need.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 6th December 2018
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
What about selling the 2 channel dav and the 2 channel daking, and getting either a 4 channel dav or even better a 4 channel daking (since you seem to love them) ?

or sell the 2882 (and maybe the dav) and fund a uln8 with 3d card, since they're discounted now ?

Also maybe you have stuff laying around that you don't use.. sell that and fund what you REALLY need.

I hope this helps,



Cheu

Chex, very true : ) Problem is that the Daking is racked in and I hate pulling stuff out and putting the back in for offsite recording (and I use it often), and the DAV non rack is so convenient for throwing in a shoulder bag and running out that I'd miss both if I sold either. I originally had wanted to go Daking in a lunchbox, but he stopped making them, and even though I could have gotten a DAV 500 series but by then I had been bitten by the Daking bug. But it's true, there are options. Another would be a four channel rack replacing the ULN2 and have them going into the 2882, which really sounds fine taking line inputs. I don't want to go bigger than the two rack spaces I use now and doing that would keep it that way.

I'm pretty bad about selling stuff I don't use enough, but that means by now there's probably enough to add up to something! : ) My closet *is* a bit of a museum of oddities. I held on to my Southworth Jambox for decades as a desk leveler, basically because it was pretty funny and a good conversation starter.

Cheers,

David
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

A year late...but a Lucid 9624 AD is super compact, pretty good sounding AD and can be found for less than $200.
If not... it's true that with the Metric Halo discounts you could have moved up to LIO8...I'm buying one for 1590 with the 3D early adopter deals.
Or a 2882 and a BG2BG8 seems like a great option..
You probably found a solution anyway.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
ISedlacek's Avatar
I am also looking for something like this (to fill the last 2 ch that I would use very rarely) and I am not aware of anything better (price vs quality) than Mytek AD 192.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
I am also looking for something like this (to fill the last 2 ch that I would use very rarely) and I am not aware of anything better (price vs quality) than Mytek AD 192.
Mytek stereo AD 192 or 96 are other options, probably a bit better.
But a used Lucid AD sounds actually pretty good and can be found super cheap (even its clock isn't bad) It doesn't do 192 though.
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